Grow Your Own Herbs
Even if you aren’t a big gardener, if you enjoy cooking, then growing your own herbs a simple and fantastic way to supplement your meals with fresh ingredients throughout the summer.
Herbs in Iowa
There are many herbs that grow in Iowa:
- Basil – annual
- Chives – perennial
- Cilantro – annual
- Dill – annual
- Fennel – annual
- Mint – perennial
- Oregano – perennial
- Parsley – biennial
- Rosemary – perennial
- Sage – perennial
- Thyme – perennial
And they are all relatively low maintenance. Herbs grow well in sunny, well-drained soils. If you have a large enough pot you can grow 2-4 or more of your favorite herbs in it, granted you give each at least 6-8 inches of its own personal space.
Perennials vs annuals
The main thing to figure out is which herbs are annuals (re-plant each year) and which are perennials (survive winter/don’t need replanting).
Perennials are easy to designate a little garden space in your soil for growing, knowing they’ll come back year after year. Just make sure to keep some protection around them so rabbits and other critters don’t snack on them.
Annuals, on the other hand, might be better off in pots that are easy to re-soil and re-seed each year.
Lastly, Parsley is a biennial. This means it takes two years to complete a life cycle. The plant grows leaves and greenery one year and then flowers the next year.
Harvesting herbs is as simple as going out to the garden and cutting what you need for your meal. But remember to not cut too much or you could kill your plant!
Cut only a third or half of the plant at most once flower buds have appeared on it. Once you’re done with your annuals for the season you can cut them all the way down to use every bit since they won’t survive winter.
There is a lot of information online about growing your own herbs, so don’t be afraid to start planting your own this season or next!